ChromeBook Recovery Hacks and Tricks

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A Chromebook can be a great purchase even if you never step outside of Google’s trusted environment. They are some of the best web machines ever built, require almost no software maintenance, and come in a myriad of different styles and price points. Now that the latest models also come with Google Play Store and support thousands of apps where are some amazing devices.

But like anything electronic, sometimes it’s fun to push the envelope and do things a little outside of the intended use. Sometimes that means hidden features in the software, sometimes it means altering the software, and sometimes it means replacing the software entirely. We’re familiar with people doing just that with Android, but it’s also pretty easy to do with your Chromebook. The best part is that it’s also very easy to go back.

Create a Chromebook recovery image

Before you start doing anything it’s always a good idea to have a path back to a time when everything worked. Luckily, that’s fairly easy when we’re talking about a Chromebook. Google has an official tool that will install the factory-issued software to your Chrome device on a 4GB or larger USB stick or SD card. You can then use this media to restore your Chromebook just like it was fresh out of the box. Thanks Google.

Directions

 

Step 1: Install the Chromebook Recovery Utility app

  1. On the working computer (Windows, Mac, or Linux) and (not the Chromebook with the error), install the recovery app.
  2. Open the app.

  1. In the screen that appears, type in the model number of the Chromebook you want to recover. Note While in recovery your device will display the model see picture below for details.
    You can find this number at the bottom of the error message on your Chromebook.
  2. Click Continue.

Important: All the information on the USB drive or SD card will be deleted. Make sure you’ve backed up those files.

  1. On the working computer, insert your USB drive or SD card into an open port. The recovery app will show all storage devices connected to your computer.
  2. Use the dropdown menu in the app to select the correct storage device.
  3. Click Continue.

To create a recovery image:

  1. Click Create now.
  2. The tool will create the recovery image on your USB drive or SD card. Don’t remove the storage device yet.
  3. When you see a message saying that your recovery media is ready, remove the storage device from your computer.

Open the Chromebook you want to recover.

If you have anything connected to this Chromebook (such as a mouse, SD card, or external hard drive), remove it.

Enter recovery mode:

  • On a Chromebook: Press and hold Esc + Refresh Refresh, then press Power Power. Let go of Power. When a message shows on the screen, let go of the other keys.
  • On a Chromebox: Turn it off. Using a paper clip or similar object, press and hold the recovery button. Press the Power button to turn the Chromebox back on. When you see a message on screen, release the recovery button.
  • On a Chromebit: Unplug it from power. Using a paper clip or similar object, press and hold the recovery button. Plug the Chromebit back in to power. When you see a message on screen, release the recovery button.

You’ll see one of these messages:

  • “Chrome OS is missing or damaged. Please insert a recovery USB stick or SD card.”
  • “Please insert a recovery USB stick or SD card.”

Insert the recovery media you’ve created (SD card or USB drive).

Follow the on-screen instructions.

Reboot and enjoy your factory-fresh software!

STOP WRITE HERE AND CREATE THE RECOVERY IMAGE NOW BEFORE CONTINUING.  

If you are still having problems check out this info HERE

Change to the beta or dev channel

This is really simple and something I recommend. By default, your Chromebook runs on the stable release channel for your model. This means everything has been tested, things run pretty smoothly, and there usually aren’t any critical bugs to trip you up.

That’s absolutely no fun.

The good news is that we all can be testers by switching the software channel in the settings. Click the Chrome OS wrench icon in the lower right and open the settings. Choose About Chrome OS > More Info. Click the Change Channel button and choose between Stable, Beta and Dev – Unstable channels in the popover window that appears.

 

Both the beta and the dev channel give you access to upcoming (both default and experimental settings — see below) features that aren’t in the stable channel just yet. I’ve always found the beta channel to work pretty well, but expect issues and glitches on the dev channel along with the latest features.

If you just want everything to work, switching back to the stable channel is just as easy — choose it from the same list!

Tweaking the settings

Chrome — both the operating system and the stand alone browser for Windows Mac and Linux — has an entire page filled with “experimental” settings. Some will absolutely break things, others might improve your experience. Find them is simple.

Fire up the browser and enter chrome://flags into the Omnibox (a fancy name for the URL bar in Chrome) then hit enter.

You’ll be faced with a huge list of features that you can enable or disable at will. All of them are experimental, some are serious security holes, others are potential oh-crap-I-need-to-reload-EVERYTHING bringers of doom. We don’t recommend you just jump in and start enabling things. Instead, talk to people who are using the same model of Chromebook that you are and find out what works and what doesn’t.

It’s also worth remembering that these experimental flags can disappear at any time. Some may be merged into the OS, others will just up and disappear. If you do enable something, lets say for example, GPU compositing, and it breaks everything (yeah, I’ve been there), you have your recovery media you made earlier to save your bacon.

Install Linux

One of those complicated things that has been made simple by the work of great developers, installing Linux on your Chromebook is a great way expand its capabilities. Chrome OS is a flavor of Linux, but it’s been trimmed down and many features have been removed. We’re going to look at the simple (and in my opinion the best) way to build a dual-boot environment so you have both Chrome OS and Ubuntu LTS using David Schneider’s excellent tool called crouton (Chromium OS Universal Chroot Environment).

You’ll need to enable developer mode on your Chromebook, and the method varies from device to device. You may need to flip a hidden switch, or enter a key combination during boot. You can find exactly how to enable developer mode for your Chromebook on Google, and once you’ve done that everything else is the same no matter which model you use.

Once you’re a developer (or at least in dev mode) you’ll need to head to the crouton project page at github and download the script from the top of the page. Save it to your Downloads folder and you’re ready to get started.

Open a terminal (I told you Chrome OS was Linux) by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T and enter the word shell to open a shell.

Next, run crouton to see all the help text and examples like this:

sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton-master

Read everything you find there, as these are your options and tell crouton what to install. If you don’t understand an option, ask someone. Also, read the help section at the crouton github page for examples and hints.

Once you have crouton set up, you’ll be able to swap between Chrome OS and a full fledged install of Linux (Ubuntu LTS) at will.

While I like the flexibility of having both Chrome OS and Ubuntu on the same machine, you may want to be rid of Chrome OS completely. If you’re interested in replacing Chrome OS with Ubuntu, have a look at the ChrUbuntu project here. If you want to replace Chrome OS on your Pixel with Debian Wheezy, grab a beverage and have a look here.

These are just a few of the neat hackery tricks you can do with your new Chromebook. And like everything else, it may turn out that none of it is for you and you prefer things that just work as intended. That’s cool, and sometimes when I’m staring at the screen of a device that won’t boot, I’m right there with ya.

If you do want to dive in and have a go at Chrome OS, this is how I do it. Tell me how you do it in the comments, I’d love to hear about it!

RootJunky

R1 HD Amazon Bootloader unlock

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R1 HD Amazon Bootloader unlock

BOOTLOADER UNLOCK METHOD 1

Hi Guys thanks to a team effort the Amazon R1 HD has root access with SP Flash Tool and TWRP recovery image.
I went ahead with the help of jcase and unlocked the bootloader because i wanted full access.

What i did is put together this script that will walk you through the steps to unlocking your Amazon R1 HD bootloader.
Steps are simple you just download this script that i created and click on the batch file once you have extracted it to your desktop. Follow the script it will walk you through everything.
Note Root access is required to use the script and you can watch a video on how to root the device below. My Script as been updated to work on Linux Mac or Windows

Download Files Here
BLU-R1-HD-Amazon-Bootloader-Unlock.zip

How to unlock the bootloader video

How to root and install twrp recovery video

Here are the steps to check if your bootloader is unlocked since people are asking. With the device turned on and adb debugging working. Run these commands in terminal or command window
adb reboot bootloader
Once in fastboot mode run this command to check if unlocked.
fastboot getvar all
It will return yes for unlock and no for locked.

BOOTLOADER UNLOCK METHOD 2

Steps
1. Download SP-Flash-Tool-bootloader-unlock.zip
2. Extract the SP-Flash-Tool-bootloader-unlock.zip to your desktop. Note 7zip is great to extract files.
3. lauch Flash_tool.exe
4. select scatter-loading and browser to load MT6735_Android_scatter_R1_Unlock.txt
5. click download button to start.
6. now plug your phone into the computer. to boot the device to preloader and start the flash. You can do it two ways: 1. power off the phone and flash will start or 2. From a powered off stat power on the device while plugged into the computer. either way will start the sp flash tool.
7. once the flash is complete which should take seconds you can unplug the device and reboot it. Congrats you can now unlock the bootloader like any normal device now.

WARNING UNLOCKING YOUR BOOTLOADER WILL WIPE DATA FACTORY RESET THE DEVICE
How to unlock the bootloader now that you have turned on this feature.
1. power off the device
2. holder volume up and power until you are at the boot menu with recovery fastboot and normal as options scroll with volume up to fastboot then press power button to select
3. once in fastboot mode you will need to option a command window on your computer and make sure you have your adb and fastboot files
4. cd to the folder with your adb and fastboot files then run these commands
5. to maks sure your devices are working correctly
fastboot devices
6. to unlock the bootloader
fastboot oem unlock
7. follow the directions on your device screen. once it is finished unlocking you can check it with
fastboot getvar all
8. Next to reboot the device use
fastboot reboot
thats it your bootloader is unlocked
Note: if you have twrp recovery install and unlock your bootloader with METHOD 2 the device will try and boot to recovery and wipe data which will fail because you and twrp installed.
The only way to fix this is to boot to fastboot mode and run this command
fastboot format userdata
then just reboot out of fastboot mode and the device will boot up.
fastboot reboot

Need help with these commands check out this video jump ahead to 6min 45sec to see commands above

Sony Xperia Bootloader Unlock Tutorial

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Sony Xperia Bootloader Unlock Tutorial

unlockbootloader_phones

Sony just like many other manufacturers has there own Bootloader Unlock program.  This program is designed for Developers but can be used by anyone to get greater control over there Android device.  In most cases unlocking the bootloader on your Sony Xperia device will void the warranty. The best practice is to fully test the operation of your device before you unlock the bootloader. Most of the time when you unlock your bootloader it will wipe data factory reset the device so make sure you backup everything of importance before starting this process. Now that the WARNINGS are out of the way lets get into this tutorial.

Directions you will need to unlock the bootloader on your Sony Xperia device

Install the Android SDK or just the ADB and fastboot files extract the adb and fastboot files to a folder.

If you are on windows you may need the drivers for your device also and HERE is a great place to look for them

adb fastboot files

 

In your device, open the dialler and enter *#*#7378423#*#* to access the service menu.

Tap Service info > Configuration > Rooting Status. Check if Bootloader unlock allowed says Yes. Also write down your IMEI from this screen.

Screenshot_2016-06-05-06-05-13Screenshot_2016-06-05-06-05-24

Now that you have your files setup and your IMEI number written down you can go to the SONY DEVELOPER UNLOCK BOOTLOADER SITE

Select your Sony Xperia device from the list at the bottom of the site and click continue.

On the next page you need to enter your email address so that Sony can verify that you arent a bot and sent you a link with your unlock code.

Open your email account and look for email from Sony with this in it. “You have requested to unlock the boot loader of your Xperia™ device. To verify this, click the following link: Click Here To Proceed”

Once the website loads up you will need to enter your IMEI number that you wrote down earlier or dail *#06# from the phone dailer to view your IMEI number.

IMEI2

Once you submit your IMEI you will get the rest of the directions to unlock the bootloader like below.

sony commands

Now that you have the full directions from Sony its time to unlock the bootloader on your Xperia device.

These direction will be for windows but it is basically the same for mac and linux.

  1. Turn on developer Options on your device and enable adb debugging. outlined in picture above.
  2. Open your adb and fastboot folder. Then with your mouse right click and select open a command window here. Alternative is to open command prompt and CD to the adb and fastboot folder.
  3. Now enter this command ( adb devices ) in the command window. you should have a popup on the phone to allow adb from this computer. allow it
  4. run command ( adb devices ) again this time you should see your serial number followed by the word device. if you get this far it means that your drivers and adb are working properly.  See picture below

adbsss

5.  From here lets reboot the device to bootloader mode with command ( adb reboot bootloader ) or follow sonys lead by powering off the device then press the Volume up button at the same time as you connect the other end of the USB-cable.  Either method will reboot the device to bootloader mode.

6.  Now run command ( fastboot devices ) again this will return with your device serial number and say fastboot after it.

fastbootssss

7.  Finally we can send the Unlock command that we got from Sony. Mine is ( fastboot -i 0x0fce oem unlock 0xE30FD3E75A61F33C ) but yours will very.

8.  look at your phone and follow any directions that come up on the screen and then thats it your done.

Once the process has fully finished then you can send command ( fastboot reboot ) to boot the device back up again. First boot up will take much longer then normal, it could take as long as 10 minutes to boot up.

Now that you have unlocked your bootloader you can easily install custom roms with cool hacks and mods. Root access and using root apps is in your near future. If you want to learn more about your sony device check out some of my video tutorials HERE

RootJunky Out

OnePlus 2 Specs

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The OnePlus 2 is sporting some amazing specs and great features as well. If you missed the unvailing event that was in VR, which i have to say was a fun experience then you should check out this live show me and some friends did on it. HERE  Looking over app the specs listed below there are a couple little features missing like NFC, wireless charge/ turbo charging, SDcard slot, and a IR blaster. If you really dont need these features and love the price point of $389.99 like i do then this will be a great phone for you. I will for sure be picking on a OnePlus 2 as soon as i can get a Invite.

pixel-perfect-img

 

One of the Features that i am really drawn to on this OnePlus 2 is the theme. I think that all device should come with a built in theme engine and from what i am seeing I think that it will be built into stock Android at some point. For now i am willing to settle for what OnePlus has to offer. If you would like to see more on the OnePlus 2 then check out the OFFICIAL SITE HERE release date looks to be set for August 11th 2015 

customize-img-1customize-img-2customize-img-3

 

OnePlus 2 Specs

Basic Parameters

Color:
Sandstone Black
Dimensions:
151.8 x 74.9 x 9.85 mm
Weight:
6.17 ounces (175 g)
Operating System:
OxygenOS based on Android 5.1
CPU:
64-bit Qualcomm© Snapdragon™ 810 processor with 1.8GHz Octa-core CPUs
GPU:
Adreno™ 430
RAM:
4 GB/3 GB LPDDR4
Storage:
64 GB/16 GB eMMC v5.0 (available capacity varies)
Sensors:
Fingerprint, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity and Ambient Light
Battery:
Embedded rechargeable 3,300 mAh LiPo battery
Max. SAR:
Head: 0.795 W/kg, Body: 1.447 W/kg

Connectivity

Connectivity:
GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz
WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/8
FDD-LTE: Bands: 1/2/4/5/7/8/12/17
Wi-Fi:
Dual-band Wi-Fi: 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n and 5GHz 802.11a/n/ac
Bluetooth:
Bluetooth 4.1
Positioning:
Internal GPS antenna + GLONASS
Digital Compass

Audio

Speakers:
Bottom-facing speaker
Microphones:
Dual-microphone with noise cancellation

Camera

Sensor:
13 Megapixel (1.3um)
Lenses:
6 lenses to avoid distortion and color aberration
OIS:
Yes
Laser Focus:
Yes
Flash:
Dual-LED
Aperture:
f/2.0
Front Camera:
5 Megapixel – Distortion free
Video:
4K resolution video, Slow Motion: 720p video at 120fps

Display

Size:
5.5 inch
Resolution:
1080p Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 401 PPI
Type:
LCD In-cell
Protection:
Corning© Gorilla© Glass

Ports, Slots, Buttons & Indicators

Ports:
Data & Charging: USB Type-C
Audio: Jack 3.5mm
Buttons:
Power Button
Volume Rockers
Alert Slider
Capacitive / On-screen buttons
SIM:
2 slots – Nano SIM (DSDS)
Indicators:
1 LED notification light (multicolored)

Loot For Root

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Loot For Root

How do you feel about paying for apps like Sun Shine by Jcase and company or programs like MoFoRoot*? Here are some of my thoughts.

rooted

There are two sides to the discussion about paying for exploits and development on your android devices.  One side is obviously the developers and the other is that of the user or android community member who has been waiting for a awesome new root or unlocked bootloader method to be released.  Since there are two sides, I decided it would only be fair to contact Jcase and ask him in person why he has chosen to create a paid-for tool like Sun Shine app*. Let me start this post with a quick note: I am going to try and stay neutral in this matter until the end of the post where you will see my thoughts on the matter, so lets begin.

Here are some of Jcase’s thoughts and some of the questions I asked him.

Q:  Why make everyone pay for the Sun Shine app instead of just releasing the exploit to the android community and the world?

A:   “There are way more complaints with the free exploits than the paid versions” So I asked him to explain. When he releases free exploits they are normally not in a perfect form and may even be a bit buggy, but they still work. Jcase has no desire to make them work any better since he mainly enjoys finding the exploit, not spending tons of time making them noob friendly. Since it isn’t the easiest exploit in the world to perform on a given device, it turns into a big headache for him to deal with and ain’t nobody got time for that!

Q:  What cost is involved for you to find and create these exploits for the Android community?

A:  To answer this question Jcase gave this example. To fully test Sun Shine app he had to buy 30 Motorola Moto G phones to make sure that Sun Shine would be noob friendly. Along with this major cost, there is the time and research. He invests alot of time into the paid versions of his exploits like Sun Shine. “You get what you pay for.”

Q: Why not fund your research and expenses with donations and bounties?

A: He explained that the last bounty only paid out 30% of what was promised in the bounty thread.  Jcase continued to explain that by selling Sun Shine app, he is crowd funding his research and future development.

A few quick notes from our conversation:

1.  Working on android is for fun and done in our free time.

2.  Family time is important and Android takes a lot of time away from them.

3.  If working on Android exploits isn’t enjoyable, then he doesn’t want to do it.

4.  Jcase and the MoFoRoot Developer don’t owe the Android Community anything. If they don’t want to release Android exploits anymore, they don’t have to.

My Thoughts 

I wish that the Android community as a whole was a lot more understanding and friendly to the developers that do Android in their free time. I think that some of the community has scared off many of the developers with all their complaints and demands. If you like what a developer is doing, then support them with a donation. This will really encourage him or her to continue their work on Android. The Android community can be a really great and helpful place. I have met many of you online and love all the fun we have had together over the years. I really wish that we could go back to just donations and bounties to fund and help the developers like Jcase, but that ship has sailed. Loot for root is the new era we have found ourselves in. I, for one, am happy to pay $25.00 for a root or unlocked bootloader; this is much cheaper than buying a developer edition device.  There is just something about paying vs. donations that just gets under my skin and maybe you feel the same way. In my opinion, if we want to get back to the good old days of more free exploits and root methods, then lets start by donating to our favorite developers in the Android community and leave them some great comments of encouragement! A little lovin’ goes a long way 🙂

Please leave your comment and thoughts. I would love to hear from you.

Tom S. / RootJunky

 

 

*MoFoRoot is a Tool that lets you flash edited rooted system images to your Motorola Droid Turbo and Moto X 2014

*Sun Shine App is an amazing tool that lets you unlock your bootloader on many Motorola and HTC devices along with S-off

Rooting: Advantages, Disadvantages and Myths

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Rooting: Advantages, Disadvantages and Myths

hydroponics-myths-570x321

So you got a new phone and you’re wanting to delve into the world of Android rooting. A lot of questions are probably going through your mind. Should I root it? Should I not root it? What could happen if I do? These are all very logical questions that I’m sure the majority of us have asked ourselves at one point or another. So in this article, we’re going to dive head first into the world of Android root, and hopefully make things a little more clear for you.

 

Some of you may be asking, “Well what does root really mean?”

To root your phone basically means to have administrator rights over the system partition on your phone. It can somewhat be compared to having administrator rights on your Windows PC. Basically this means that you can install, and uninstall whatever you want on your phone. Sounds good right? It is. However, there are a couple valid reasons why your phone does not have this access right out of the box. Supposed you’re new to Android and notice that upon turning your phone on, you instantly have access to every system app and system file that is available on your phone. Woah! Careful though, you have no idea what you can or cannot delete without messing something up. You’re smart though, you can use common sense to get you through this. Next thing you know your phone no longer boots up, it won’t even charge! This is one of the many valid reasons that your phone does not come out of the box with superuser access. Believe it or not, it’s disabled to actually protect you!

So now that we’ve got that out of the way, you’re probably thinking “Well should I or shouldn’t I?” The answer to that question is entirely up to you. So let’s go through the advantages AND the disadvantages of rooting your Android device.

Advantages:

Debloat. Bloatware apps are usually carrier specific apps that come preinstalled on your device. They can be helpful, or they can be a nuisance. Keep the ones you want, get rid of the ones you don’t, permanently. NOTE: permanemtly deleting apps bloatware from your device can some times make ota updates fail.

Install and use those “root required” apps. Such as MyBackup Pro, Root Explorer and many more! These apps can become very useful tools in the rooting world and give you so much more control over your device.

Mods, tweaks and themes. Want to have your clock centered? Well that requires root to be able to install or flash a modified SystemUI.apk.

Custom ROMs. ROMs are basically packages of custom made Android software that you can install on your device to have all the nice little features that custom ROMs come with. Rooting is the first step in being able to flash ROMs.

Control “startup apps.” With root permissions, you can even control what apps start automatically when you turn your device on!

These are just some of the very very many advantages to rooting your Android device. Now let’s take a look at some of the disadvantages. (Yes those actually exist.)

Disadvantages:

You may soft brick, or perma brick your device. “Bricking” has 2 forms basically. Softbrick, which is where your phone either bootloops or won’t boot at all, but you still have access to Recovery and/or Fastboot. “Permabrick” or “hardbrick” is exactly how it sounds. You’re phone is a paperweight. It will not boot, it will not charge, and you have no access to Recovery and/or Fastboot.

You’re opened up to making a lot more mistakes, such as deleting your phone.apk, your Settings.apk. You’d be surprised at how much it actually happens. (However, this is why we have websites such as Rootjunky.com and XDA!)

Ok so now we got those out of the way as well, let’s get into some rooting myths!

Myths:

“Once you root, you will no longer receive OTA updates.” – This is simply not true at all. You will still receive the OTA update on your phone if you’re still on the stock software, and you can still install that OTA update as well. However, you WILL lose root access. This can be a pain if your bootloader is not unlocked. You will have to wait for someone to verify that root access is still possible on the new software version.

“Rooting voids your warranty.” – No. No. No. Rooting absolutely does not void your warranty. The absolute only way that root voids your warranty, is if it can be proven :-), that rooting was the direct cause of your issue. However, this is also a confusing subject. Some carriers don’t really care what you do, and some do. Those that do, will not hesitate to deny you any service or replacements if your phone is rooted. Some do not check at all and do not care. Then again, this also varies between OEMs (Motorola, LG, HTC, Samsung). Some OEMs follow the rule I posted above, and some will not grant you any repairs if your device is rooted. The main reason that some places do not care is because of one simple thing, rooting, can in now way at all, damage your device. All rooting does, is install 1 app (Superuser app of choice) and install 1 file (usually in /system/xbin). That’s it. It can in no way cause your touchscreen to stop working, cause your wifi to stop working, cause you to lose mobile data, none of that. It simply can’t do it, unless YOU mess with something after the fact. Keep in mind what I said before though. This is exactly why we have websites like Rootjunky.com and XDA. If something happens, you have a very good chance of recovering your device.

So there you have it. Some advantages, disadvantages, and even some myths about Android rooting. The choice is always up to you if you root or not. That being said, let me leave you with some tips!

1.) Always always always do your research first! Find out what Android version your device is on, find out if it has been confirmed to be able to be rooted.

2.) Try to stay away from Toolkits and “one-click” methods. I’m not saying that the people that make such methods don’t know what they’re doing. What I’m saying is, if you’re going to get into this world, learn the way it used to be done! Learn your adb commands, learn your fastboot commands! Don’t take Android modding away from it’s roots.

3.) When you find a guide about rooting your device, FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS TO THE “T!!!” Do not cut corners, do exactly what the guide tells you to do!

4.) Last but not least, always make sure you perform backups before flashing ROMs. Always make sure you have a recovery plan before doing ANYTHING to your phone.

Well hopefully this article helped you learn something, and hopefully it made the decision a little easier on you. The Android community is very amazing community that is just filled with people willing to help others out when they’re in need. We’re a community that you absolutely WILL NOT find anywhere else. On that note, be safe, be smart, read, read some more, and have fun!!

 

BY

Gary H

 

Android 5.1 Launches On Nexus Devices

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Android 5.1 Lollipop Arrives

This week on the Official Android Blog, Android Lollipop 5.1 was announced with some minor, but well deserved modifications to Lollipop 5.0.

Dum_Dums_Lollipops

 

A small list of some of the changes:

  • Voice-Over-LTE (Currently supported on T-Mobile and Verizon)
  • HD Voice (Currently supported on T-Mobile and Verizon)
  • Device Protection (Remote locking similar to iCloud lock on iOS products)
  • Better Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Quick-toggles
  • Support for Multi-SIM devices

Android 5.1 is currently being pushed to Nexus 5, 6, 7, 10. If you want this latest firmware the best place to download it is from HERE

Source from Official Android Blog

A couple things i have noticed with android 5.1 are that it runs much smoother on my Nexus 6. Apps and browser windows load quicker which I really like. It also seems like the encryption on the Nexus 6 kind of slowed down the device but with Android 5.1 it is working normal again even with the encryption.  There are also a lot of little animations that make it a much nicer experience.

Xposed Framework Lollipop

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Xposed Framework Lollipop Alpha

nexusae0_ic_launcher_thumb

NOTE: That this is still an alpha version and for Lollipop on ARMv7+ devices only. Please install it only if you’re willing to take the risk of boot loops. Just because it’s working fine and stable for me doesn’t mean it will work for everyone the same way. If this brakes your device you may have to flash the firmware to fix it make sure you know how to do that before installing.

How to Check out ARM Version and see if it is 7 or above

  1. Install Android Terminal Emulator  app on your device and open it
  2. Type the followng: getprop ro.product.cpu.abi  OR getprop ro.product.cpu.abi2
  3. It will return with your Arm Version. see picture below

Screenshot terminal

Downloads: Get all files need HERE
xposed-arm-20150213b.zip: Must be flashed with a custom recovery to install the framework.
XposedInstaller_3.0-alpha1.apk: Must be installed to manage installed modules.

Screenshot_2015-02-15-16-20-11Screenshot_2015-02-15-16-20-16Screenshot_2015-02-15-16-20-22

Known issues:
– It seems to boot loop on Samsung stock ROMs. I have received a file which I can use to analyse this issue, but it might take some time.
Update: There’s a difference in the format of *.oat files on Samsung ROMs. I’m trying to find out more

– If everything is working fine, but the app_process version is not displayed, it’s just a display error that can be ignored (will be fixed later).

– Nexus 6 only works if you set selinux to permissive and soft reboot from within the xposed framework app. you can us this Google Play app to change the selinux to permissive.

XDA XPOSED FRAMEWORK OFFICIAL THREAD

US Cell Phone Carrier Unlocking Policies

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US Cell Phone Carrier Unlocking Policies

unlock carrier

Policies: Verizon | AT&T | Sprint | T-Mobile | US Cellular

First what is carrier unlocking and why might I want this for my device? If your device is carrier unlocked then you can put any carriers sim card in your phone and it will work as long as the device you are using supports that carriers network frequencies. On the other hand if your cell phone is carrier locked then it is stuck on whatever carrier you have and will not work on any other network.

Note: Most people confuse bootloader unlocking with carrier unlocking. These are to very different things carrier unlocking has to do with the Network and bootloader unlocking has to do with freedom to flash custom firmware / OS to your device.

Above you will find linked all the policies for these major carriers. Check to see if you meet the requirements and can get your device carrier unlocked for free through there programs. If you aren’t eligible then start Googling carrier unlock and you will find that there are many free and paid for services out there that can accomplish this task of unlocking your phones networks for you. Most cost 25 dollars or less some are even free.

As of today Feb 11th 2015 the FCC and CTIA is forcing all carriers to allow customers to unlock there phones if they meet the requirements listed. So go check out your carriers policy and see if you are eligible.  Now you will be able to bring your device to any carrier and not have to buy a new one if you don’t want to. As a customer you bought the device and you should fully own it and have full control not the OEM or the carrier.

Other Important Links:  FCC device unlocking FAQ | CTIA Consumer Code for Wireless Service

 

The Future of SmartPhone Batteries

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Instant, QI, RF, & Turbo Charge

3d-microbattery-illinois-king-supercapacitor-lithium-ion

The Future of the SmartPhone Batteries and charging them is really starting to look interesting.  The progression I have seen in that last couple of years is really amazing, lets take a look.

chargebatterylonger

Lets make a quick list

1.  Nickel–cadmium battery

2.  Lithium-ion battery

3.  MicroBatteries

We all know that the Lithium-ion batteries are really nice and last a lot longer then the NI CD, but with these batteries you still need to charge them all the time based on there MA Hours example: most phones are around 2800MA hours and tablets are around 4000mah to 6000mah.  There are many different ways to accomplish this task of recharging your device so lets take a closer look at them and some of the new ones as well.

Now on to the good info the charging Tech.

1.  Quick Charging

2.  QI wireless induced Charging

3.  RF wireless Charging

4.  Instant Charging

5.  Power Banks

I am pretty sure most of you have heard and seen the Quick Charger in devices like the Nexus 6, Note 4, Xperia Z3, and the Droid Turbo.  It allows you to charge your android device much faster and with more amperage if your battery is really low. Example: In laboratory tests using a 3300mAh battery, a Quick Charge 2.0 enabled device went from 0% to 60% charge in 30 minutes, while a device without Quick Charge 2.0 using a conventional (5 volt, 1 amp) charger achieved just a 12% gain in the same 30 minutes. A device with Quick Charge 1.0 managed a 30% charge in that time period.  This is a huge step in the right direction but i recommend you read on.

QI charging

QI wireless induced Charging is also a great charging option on many devices like the Moto 360 smart watch and the Nexus 6.  QI charging is done with pad that creates a magnetic field that you place the device on and as long as the phone is inside the magnetic field the device is charging.

Power Banks are another great accessory for those on the move and need a little extra juice.

The two up coming charging / batteries i really want to talk about are the RF wireless Charging and Instant Charging with MicroBatteries.  RF wireless charging is brought to you by Powercast’s technology.  They provided true wireless power for continuous charging and power-over-distance for one or more devices. Wireless power transmission is based on commonly used radio waves (around 5.8GHz) and Powercast’s patented RF-to-DC conversion technology.  The combination enables low-power electronic devices to become untethered with trickle-charge embedded wireless power.  As I search the web some more I have found a company with this same RF technology called Energous there product is wattup and looks to to use the same technology as Powercast.  Energous transmitter looks like it has a range of up to 30 feet which isnt bad if you have one or two transmitters in your house you could go totally charger free.  I am really looking forward to see this technology in your portable device really soon.

3d-microbattery-illinois-king-supercapacitor-lithium-ion-5

MicroBatteries with Instant Charging are in my mind even better then RF and here is why.  Micro Batteries give you capacitor-like power with battery-like energy storage.  This allows the battery to charge instantly like a capacitor on a motor and then drain fast if needed or slowly like a normal battery. Material in todays battery is a thin film that allows for very fast charging and discharging, but reduces the capacity because the active material lacks volume to store energy.  Micro batteries wrap a thin film into a three-dimensional structure, achieving both high active volume (high capacity) and large current.  These battery electrodes can charge or discharge in a few seconds, 10 to 100 times faster than equivalent bulk electrodes, yet can perform normally in existing devices. I cant wait for the day that my portable device fully charges in 5 seconds or maybe along side all the free wifi hotspots will be free RF charging.

Please check out all the red links if you would like to read more about this amazing developments.

 The future of smartphone batteries is looking good and should finally start to catch up with the tech that they are powering.